Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Heard any good Korean expressions lately?

Koreans have a way of saying things sometimes that make me think, "Wow, I like that expression." Some of the expressions may seem plain to Koreans, but to me they have a certain elegance. Here is one expression that I found elegant in a recent letter from a Korean friend:

살아온 세월만큼 아는 것이 인생인데.

  1. Life is what we learn along the way.
  2. Life is learning from our years of living.
  3. Life is what we know from our years of living.
I think the Korean can be translated in both the ways I did it above. In my friend's case, I think she was referring to the second translation.

Update: I have thought about it and think that Sentence 3 is the most accurate translation of the Korean.


  1. It has a total lack of political correctness, but:

    잡은 물고기에 먹이를 주는 거 봤어?

    Struck my fancy the other day. It doesn't actually have anything to do with fish, it's basically what a husband says to a wife after he's married her and she complains that he doesn't treat her special anymore.

  2. That's a funny one, Sub8hr. I had never heard it before.

    잡은 물고기에 먹이를 주는 거 봤어?
    Have you ever seen someone feed a fish he has already caught?

  3. I like "힘내세요!" as it encourages people. But I do not know to translate it into English. I wonder if "You can do it!" fits as given in

  4. Jesse,

    Yes, "You can do it," sounds like a good translation for 힘 내세요, but I also think it can be used to mean, "Be strong," which could be used to encourage someone during an emotionally difficult time.


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